This phase of our annual planning is always busy, but presents us with lots of interesting and unusual activities and potential partnerships so that we can support the regional creative art of writing and words in all forms.  Please hop on board for West Fest Toowoomba 2024.

2024

We are very excited to present From Script to Stage as our theme in this our third year of WFT.

Here is the draft program so you can add to your diaries:

November 2023

  • setting up our podcast studio ready to interview and share our 2024 presenters via Spotify – short, sassy sharing tasters for the program events
  • Calling for your favourite recipes – * EOI below

December 2023

  • Launch of Aileen Bradley’s travel tips and tales Chooseday – details tbc
  • Debbie Mulligan road trip to Inverell for Michael Burge’s Write Regardless workshop

January 2024

  • Jan 27 – Mouse Proof Brewery Invasive Species event – Storytelling of Toowoomba’s landscape through the eyes and paintbrush of Daniel Blades and his art crew.

February 2024

  • Launch of Celebrating More Tastes of Toowoomba  – the second edition of our very popular multicultural recipe book – details tbc
  • 7th – Progressive  Poetry Trail – Japanese Garden
  • 9th – Progressive walking Capturing the CBD History Trail
  • 10th – Progressive Script Writing Trail

March 2024

  • Mar 16 – Terrific guest author, Michael Burge presents the Get on Board workshop and mentoring at Downs Steam, Drayton for a Writers Retreat with a difference – keeping you on track!  *  EOI below
  • Yet to be confirmed, but anticipating a Words From the Past  train trip to Clifton via Nobby with a lot of fun words, history, food and visual arts along the way *  EOI below

April 2024

  • April  9th – Family History writing Workshop – 100 Years From Now 
  • Cooking Demos from the new recipe book at the Toowoomba Show

May 2024

  • May 9th – Following our Zero Waste campaign and Podcasts, the excitement for the next Trashion Parade – theme is Mother – details in the * EOI below.  I am working on There was an old Woman who lived in a Shoe for my entry….how about getting your imagination into gear?

June 2024

  • Under wraps for now, our fantastic  Warm Words in Winter Author Expos and Workshops, Literary Lunch, book launches and performances will be held from 4th– 9th June and will include our annual book launch at the Queensland Day event

Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our previous sponsors and welcome aboard to those supporting us for 2024.

KC Strategic Media Services – Toowoomba and Darling Downs is our Gold Sponsor for Marketing and Media.  Thanks Kim for your energy and creativity in getting the Word out for us.

Our printers – Cracker Print and Paper
Mosaic Hues
Totally Workwear
Cutta Murphy Photography
Ian Wickham’s in the Booth
Community Hub – Darling Heights State School
Aileen Bradley
Sonia Christou – All Star Brokers
Grand Central – Georgina Bayly
Mouse Proof Brewery
Ruth Atkinson and Marianne Buchanan
Daniel Blades

Volunteers keep our wheels turning  – Thank you unreservedly to the Word Fest Toowoomba Team:  Kath Kelly, Suzie King,  Debbie Mulligan,  Garry Chew, Ben Moore, Vanda Murphy, Lizzie Cook-Long and Wendy McKeen for your massive and ongoing support.

Would you like to join us, or offer to sponsor an individual event? 

On the Page

  • Creating Curriculum to supplement the Certificate 3 in Hospitality for migrant and refugee adult students seeking work.  The Nourish program is designed to complement the Smart Choices guidelines for school tuckshops and is an example of our Words across the community capacity.
  • Excitedly getting Daniel Blades and his artistic crew on board to create something amazing as the backdrop for the Invasive Species event at the Mouse Proof Brewery on 27th January.  This will be a great day for live music with Lead Singer of Punk Band Kathleen Turner Overdrive gathering band from SE Qld to rock the day.   You need to claim the date now!
  • WFT working behind the scenes on blogs and newsletters for Study Toowoomba – the Council – supported program to showcase Toowoomba as a wonderful educational, safe and welcoming place for International Students.  Here are the 6 Student Ambassadors enjoying a meal together at Durbar restaurant at Uni Plaza and promoting their proud cultural heritage at the International Fiesta.
  • Assisting local identity, Aileen Bradley, prepare her travel adventures for Cracker Print and Paper to publish her guide and anecdotes ready for launching Chooseday.
  • Excited to be producing more quality publications next year….stay tuned for these new works.

Darling Downs Community Hub

What a great vibe we had in the Hub and Tuckshop on Friday, 27 October.  Lyndall Hill from Word Fest Toowoomba and her gang of excited participants, started their Cert III in Hospitality with Aurora Training Institute Toowoomba through our Community Hub.

And to top it off, guess what the first cooking project was??  100’s of sausages for our Daniel Morcombe Foundation, fund raising day.

Not only are the participants learning, they are giving back to our community. Community Hubs Australia, Darling Heights State School, Word Fest, Aurora and our amazing participants all working together to make our world a little better. 

If you felt that you would like to help support this great initiative, please consider donating to the Hub to help buy food or if you are a business looking for employees, please contact Ricky Adams via Darling Downs Community Hub Facebook.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

More Tastes of Toowoomba

We are creating another Taste of Toowoomba recipe book to share traditional recipes and to celebrate our cultural diversity.  If you would like to have your favourite recipe included in the book, complete the details below, outlining the recipe and why it is important to you.

Get on Board Writers’ Retreat with Michael Burge

16 March at DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum, Drayton

About Michael Burge:  
Michael Burge is a journalist, author and artist who lives at Deepwater on Ngarabal Country in the New England region of NSW.  His debut novel Tank Water is a coming-of-age crime thriller set in the bush and was released by MidnightSun Publishing.  His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love (High Country Books) lifted the lid on familial, institutional and government homophobia in Australia.

Michael co-manages The Makers Shed, a creative hub in Glen Innes. Browse his books in his online bookshop and view his artwork at his online art gallery.  He is director of High Country Books. A graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael was touring co-ordinator for Arts North West.

In a series of hard-hitting articles for Guardian Australia, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and Gay Star News, Michael’s journalism has always covered issues of equality, LGBTIQA+ history, popular culture, politics and pathways for independent artists and writers. He has also edited and written for Fairfax Media, Australian Community Media, Intermedia, United News & Media UK and News Corporation.  His article ‘Backwards to Bourke: Bulldust about Gays in the Bush’ was published internationally in the Journal of Australian Studies.

For more detail on his work history check out his LinkedIn profile.

The workshop will be held on site at DownsSteam Museum, which is located at the historic Drayton railway station and features a range of historic carriages, it’s very unique dreamtime carriage and a number of operational locomotives.  DownsSteam are planning to have day-trip train journeys operating in the very near future. 

Cost of workshop will be dependent on number of participants, but cost will include venue, catering and presenter fees.  A very unique opportunity to get your writing on board and on track! 

Words from the Past

March 2024 – To be confirmed
Take a trip into the past to learn more of writers from the Darling Downs.  While many of us know the Steele Rudd story from Nobby, you may be surprised to discover many other writers from our local area.  WordFest is currently working with DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum to organise a steam train journey to Clifton.  More details to come.

Trashion Parade

9 May – Grand Central Shopping Centre
Next year’s theme is Mother.  This year’s parade was such a success, we can’t wait to see the designs that will be on display!  We want to see reloved, remade, reused, recycled, reworked, refashioned, recast, revised, redone, reforged, refitted … you get the picture!  To link in with Wordfest’s 2024 theme of Script to Stage, we will be asking that each garment has a story/script to accompany it on stage.  To assist with covering costs, there will be a small fee of $5 per entry.  

IF YOU ARE INTERESTING IN THE ABOVE EVENTS…